On the afternoon of May 2, 2015, seniors celebrated their upcoming graduation from the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design by showcasing their work and networking with SASD alumni at the annual Senior Design Exhibition at the Schelfhaudt Gallery.

Students, faculty, alumni, and guests enjoyed complimentary beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to make new friends and strengthen ties with old comrades. Graduating SASD seniors also benefited from practicing the “pitching” of their ideas and design work to interested attendees, many of whom were alumni in the field open to discovering new talent.

Hosted by Art Landi ’74 (Industrial Design) and UB Trustee, the 9th Annual SASD UB Alumni Event celebrated the accomplishments of Michael Laude ’77 (Industrial Design), Director of the Bose Corporate Design Center and a red dot design award winner, as well as the following graduating student award winners:

  • Best Portfolio: Amanda Kunrath (Graphic Design)
  • Best Thesis: Clarese Grant (Graphic Design)
  • Academic Achievement: Norah Alajmi (Interior Design)
  • IDSA Merit Award, Academic Achievement: Ryan Therrien (Industrial Design)

After the meet and greet, Richard Yelle, Director of the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, introduced President Salonen, who read a citation of Michael Laude’s professional career (see Bio below) and then called Art Landi up to the podium. Landi next called forward Michael Laude, who was ceremoniously gifted a captain’s chair by SASD faculty in honor of the SASD Lifetime Achievement Award, in this case for Industrial Design. Landi pointed out that throughout Mike Laude’s illustrious career, there were always other “UBID” (now SASD Industrial Design) alumni involved at every turn. After Laude said a few words, Yelle called forward the SASD Honor students and Professors Larned and Matto, and honors cords were handed out.

Reflecting on the event, Yelle emphasizes the importance of participating in and attending the annual SASD Senior Design and Alumni Event as a “rite of passage” tradition for graduating seniors, but also as a means for SASD alumni to get and stay connected with each other as professional designers at various stages in their careers. Toward that end, “Mike Laude is one of the most important industrial designers in North America,” Yelle says. What better venue to be introduced than at one’s ever-welcoming alma mater – and perhaps make an impression that might just last a lifetime?

Michael Laude UBID ’77, Bio

Michael Laude is the Director of Design at Bose Corporation in Framingham, Massachusetts. He graduated cum laude from UBID in 1977, and was the school’s IDSA Student Merit award winner. After graduation, he joined Thermos in Norwich, Conn., where he worked with fellow UBID ‘77 graduate Ken Geer developing designs for thermos bottles, ice chests, and institutional feeding systems for the consumer and commercial markets.

In 1979, Mike joined King-Casey Design in New Canaan, Conn. While there he worked on design programs for the Toro Company, Wagner Spray-Tech, 3M, CPT Computers, Peugeot, Fiat and others. Fellow UBID graduates on staff at King-Casey included Tom Pendleton, Guy Cihi, Bob Mileti, and Scott Peterson.

He joined Group Four Design in Avon, Conn. in 1981, and worked on projects for clients including Olin Chemical, Columbia Bicycle, and Coleco Industries.

After delivering a number of successful design programs for Coleco, Laude was recruited to join Coleco’s in-house design team in West Hartford, Conn. as the Industrial Design Manager. His focus was initially on the Boys Toys and Computer Video Game product categories, but over the course of his six years with the company he was promoted to Design Director and eventually Vice President of Design. At its peak, Coleco had a staff of over 60 designers, graphic designers, sculptors, and model makers. While there, he had the good fortune of working with fellow UBID classmate Craig DuBois. He also met his future wife Karen Laude.

Mike left Coleco to join Black & Decker’s Household Products Group in Shelton Conn. in 1988 as the Director of Advanced Development. His small but talented team included UBID Bryan deBlois, and eventually Craig Dubois joined the team. For a two-year term he was also the Engineering Director for Cleaning Products and brought a number of handheld and upright vacuums products to production. When UBID grad Gary Van Duersen left Shelton for a design opportunity at Black & Decker Europe, he took over the role of Industrial Design Director for the division. The staff of five included UBID graduate Rich Carbone. The Advanced Development and Industrial Design Team at Black & Decker won numerous IDEA awards during his tenure, including Gold awards for the SnakeLight™ and the KitchenTools™ premium appliance product line.

Mike moved to Massachusetts in 1997 to join Bose Corporation as the Director of Design. While there had been a small internal design team prior to Mike joining the company, he was the only industrial designer on staff. Over the almost 19 years at Bose, the Bose Design Center has grown from a team of one to a group of over forty, with design, modeling, and operations staff in the Framingham headquarters, and additional design staff in Shenzhen, China; Penang, Malaysia; and Glasgow, Scotland. Rich Carbone joined Mike at Bose and remains a vital member of the design team.

The Design Center supports all of the various product divisions of the corporation with full-service industrial design support, from product concepts to functional prototypes and finished production designs. The Design Center also applies a user-centered design perspective in support of the Bose Research laboratories to facilitate bringing compelling and proprietary technologies to market. Since the company’s inception, performance, design, and ease of use have been seen as core attributes of Bose products. The industrial design team has been awarded over forty international awards for their product design work.

In addition, the Bose Design Center was recognized as the 2008 Red Dot Design Team of the Year by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany, an honor it shares with such notable companies as Apple, Audi, adidas, and BMW.

In the 38 years since graduating UB, Mike has been the recipient of individual design awards from IDEA, Red Dot, iF, and Good Design, and he is co-inventor on numerous design and utility patents. He is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the Design Management Institute (DMI).

Laude is an avid cyclist and, together with his wife Karen and their dog Jake, enjoy spending as much time as possible in Wellfleet, Mass.